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Active Cup 2018

6th February 2018

As has become customary, ODE entered a team into the prestigious Active Cup competition run by The Engineering Construction Industry Training Board (ECITB) with support from Cranfield University. ODE’s team this year comprised representatives from the Wimbledon and Great Yarmouth offices, and a spur of the moment decision led to the name O’Dear, much to the delight of delegates. The team members were Tim Macardle (Projects), Amy Smith (Process), Josh Hannon (Piping), James Eddolls (Instrument) and Sophie Brown (Safety).

The weekend event started on the Friday morning with introductory talks from ECITB and partner groups, followed by lectures on various project management tools and the ACTIVE Principles which would be used to evaluate our performance throughout the simulation. Armed with our newly-learned skills, the participating teams retired to their base of operations (a small office space) to prepare their execution strategy, project plan and resource allocation. This process saw many participants working late into the night, and ODE was no exception.

Saturday began with an early start to ensure that preparations made the night before were all in order, before submitting the first of the action request forms and presenting plans and estimated profit to the course leaders and other participants. From that point on, the weekend was broken up into fast paced decision-making situations. Each team member was allocated a discipline to take ownership of, but given that ODE’s team was well-versed in all disciplines, an open forum approach was easily implemented. The advantage of this became clear as individuals’ strengths became apparent and valuable input was not overlooked, with the approach further validated during a period of exchanging team members. Throughout this time, it became apparent that some teams found it difficult to induct new members into the working style and strategy of their group, however ODE’s guest members noted the benefits of our approach through enhanced integration and collaboration.

Due to the planning, execution strategy and a lot of hard work from all team members, ODE was on target to achieve the estimated delivery date and improve upon the estimated cost. However, as the project was entering the final stages, an unfortunate miscalculation in planning for additional work scopes meant that these targets slipped. ODE was therefore awarded joint-fourth place overall for their efforts in project management and execution.

On reflection, all of this year’s participants agreed that although the competition was at times very intense, it was a valuable experience and a first-hand insight into the importance of effective project management strategies.